So you’re making a quick loop around the Golden Triangle of India and you have just one day in Jaipur?!
Seeing 3 forts in Jaipur seems like a perfect way to spend that one day in the Pink City of India!
There are 3 forts in Jaipur that are located in relatively close proximity of one another.
The easiest would be to drive between each of the forts, but you can walk from fort to fort too.
Although I did walk the 12 miles (15 km) across all 3 forts and tour the palace complexes, for this itinerary, we’ll make it a bit more reasonable so you won’t be walking as much. 😉 Plus, less time spent walking means more time to see other things!
First, the quick list of the best Jaipur forts when you’re short on time.
Then, the quick list of the best places to visit in Jaipur when you have just one day and you want to see the forts as a part of that day.
And then finally, a few more details on a plan for how to make it a perfect one day in Jaipur!
3 forts in Jaipur to know about
1. Amber Fort
2. Jaigarh Fort
3. Nahargarh Fort
Is one day enough for Jaipur?!
Of course, more days in Jaipur is always better! But if you only have one day in Jaipur, you can work with it!
Even with just one day in Jaipur, you can see all 3 forts. A visit to these forts can give you a nice glimpse of past royal life as you explore the fort grounds and palaces… and even a secret tunnel!
And with Uber and rickshaws being readily available in Jaipur, you can even manage to squeeze in a trip to see an iconic Jaipur landmark, as well as some monkeys with some great city views.
And with that…
7 best places to visit in Jaipur in one day
1. Hawa Mahal
2. Amber Fort
…and Amber Palace
4. Jaigarh Fort
5. Nahargarh Fort
7. Sun Temple
If you decide to give yourself more time in Jaipur, then see how to spend 3 days in Jaipur! If you have more time in Rajasthan, be sure to see how to spend 2 weeks in Rajasthan, including 3 days in the city of lakes, 2 days in the blue city, and 3 days in the golden city. For more of the Golden Triangle, also see how to spend one day in Agra.
A little more for your Jaipur itinerary and how to spend one day in Jaipur for a day of forts!
Getting to the Old City
The Hawa Mahal is located in the Old City area.
There are a number of hostels in the Old City of Jaipur, so the Hawa Mahal might even be within walking distance of where you’re staying.
But even if not, getting around Jaipur is easy and reliable with Uber!
I used Uber a ton when I was in Jaipur.
Otherwise, rickshaw is also available.
Hawa Mahal (aka wind palace)
The Hawa Mahal is the pink palace you’ve probably seen in pictures.
Basically, this is the iconic Jaipur symbol!
So if you don’t want to miss this, then make this your first stop of the day so you don’t have to worry about having to fit it in later.
It’s possible to go inside of the Hawa Mahal.
With only one day in Jaipur it means you have little time, and I don’t think it’s worth your time to go into the Hawa Mahal. It more or less just feels like an empty walking space. While it’s nice to try to imagine what royals used to live like by walking around this palace, you’ll have the chance to explore a much more worthwhile palace later in the day! (Many, actually! Each fort has a palace!)
So, since you’re not going inside…
What’s the best way to view the Hawa Mahal?!
By getting in front of the Hawa Mahal!
You can take picture from the street level…
Or you can climb some stairs that are directly in front of the Hawa Mahal.
Look for a rooftop (or higher level) restaurant, and just take the stairs up.
You don’t even need to go specifically to any restaurant, as there are places you can stop to take pictures as you go up that will be straight in front of the Hawa Mahal.
But being that this is your first stop of the day, you may also consider getting some tea or breakfast here before you head off for your big fort day!
A visit to THE forts in Jaipur!
Getting to Amber Fort
This day of forts starts at Amber Fort.
Amber (pronounced Amer) is located outside of Jaipur to the north, and Uber would be a good way to get here. It’ll be about a 20 minute ride from the Old City.
Jaipur has cars for Uber and if you’re traveling alone, you can get an Uber bike (scooter) too.
Jaipur Fort #1: Amber Fort
And Amber Palace
Cost: 500 rupees (US$8) for foreigners
Once you reach the area that’s directly below Amber Fort, there are a couple of ways to get from the main road up to the fort complex.
Should you take an elephant ride at Amber Fort?
Riding an elephant from the base of the fort to the top seems to be a fairly popular thing to do.
But elephant rides are a bit controversial, so it’s best to do research to determine if an elephant ride is something you want to do.
Basically, there are people who say that riding elephants is a painful thing for the elephant, and there are also people who say that the way the elephants are trained to provide these sorts of elephant rides are a painful process for the elephants as well.
So much so, that there was consideration of banning elephant rides in India.
Another option to get to the top: WALK!
If you prefer to skip the elephant ride, you can take the stairs to get up to Amber Fort.
Exploring Amber Fort and Amber Palace
Once you get up to the main fort complex area, there’s an area that you can wander around a bit. This area is free.
The Amber Fort complex is also home to Amber Palace, which is a grand palace that’s worth exploring. This is where you’ll have to pay to enter.
Amber Fort is home to possibly the best palace around Jaipur. If you have to choose one palace in Jaipur, I’d say make it Amber Palace!
Of the different fort and palace complexes in Jaipur, I did the most walking around at Amber Palace with an hour or so of walking. There are a lot of different places around Amber Palace that you can explore.
Cafe at Amber Fort with fort views
If you just want a little bit of a break at Amber Palace, there’s a cafe located inside the fort complex. You’ll see Cafe Coffee Day after you’ve finished exploring the main palace area.
I had my favorite Cafe Coffee Day order: a tandoori paneer sandwich, along with a Belgian chocolate shot, which is similar to chocolate mousse.
Royal restaurant at Amber Fort: 1135 AD restaurant
After visiting a few different palaces, you can also treat yourself to a meal at Amber Fort.
As a restaurant at a fort with royal history, the cost of meals is on the more expensive side here.
The 1135 AD restaurant is located outside the entry gate of Amber Palace, so you can have lunch or dinner here without an entry ticket.
Next up: Amber Fort to Jaigarh Fort underground tunnel
At the base of Amber Fort, you can find a rickshaw to take you to Jaigarh Fort.
But the best way to go from fort to fort is obviously by walking through a tunnel!
It’ll be towards the end of your walk through Amber Fort, after you have finished up exploring the palace.
Look for the door that leads to the tunnel.
You can take this tunnel to get to Jaigarh Fort.
Jaipur Fort #2: Jaigarh Fort
And Jaigarh Palace
Cost: 100 rupees (US$2) for foreigners
There are 2 main places of interest in the area of Jaigarh Fort.
There is a palace within the Jaigarh Fort complex that you can spend around 30 minutes exploring.
There’s also a famous cannon at Jaigarh Fort that’s said to be the world’s largest cannon on wheels.
Next up: Jaigarh Fort to Nahargarh Fort
Jaigarh to Nahargarh was the longest stretch of walking, about 7 km or 4 miles. The walk is on the same road that you’d take if you drive there.
You can also start to walk, and if you decide the hot weather is too much for you (there’s minimal shade), you can probably get a rickshaw.
There are likely to be rickshaws driving up and down this road every now and then, as it’s a road to a tourist attraction.
I also had people feeling sorry for me to be walking and was offered a couple of free rides too.
So, if you start to walk and soon decide you no longer want to walk, you’ll likely have an out!
Or, if you want to just get a rickshaw straight from Jaigarh to Nahargarh, you can find rickshaws at the entry of Jaigarh Fort.
Jaipur Fort #3: Nahargarh Fort
Cost: 200 rupees (US$3) for foreigners
Now you’ve made it to the last fort!
If you want to take a bit of a break, this can be a good fort to do so.
Well, you can find good places to rest at all the forts. But since this is the last fort, you may want to take it all in a little bit more!
There’s also a puppet show that you can watch.
It probably would be better if you can understand Hindi. But still, it can be an entertaining thing to see!
Next up: Nahargarh Fort back to where you’re staying!
The best place to find a rickshaw to take you back to the main part of Jaipur is around the entry of Nahargarh Fort.
It’s now just a winding downhill on uneven grounds to finish up! This is the route you’d take if you were going directly from Jaipur to Nahargarh.
And once you’ve made it to the bottom, you’ve officially finished up your 3 fort tour! 😉
As fun as it may be to walk down the winding downhill road, I found it to be difficult to find an Uber or rickshaw at the base of Nahargarh Fort. So if you want a rickshaw back to the Old City, it could be better to take it straight from the fort.
And that’s the day of Jaipur forts!
If you find yourself with extra time…
Consider heading over to the Monkey Temple!
I think that getting to the Monkey Temple from the Galta Gate is the best. This does require extra walking from the gate.
Going up from the Galta Gate side is where the Sun Temple is located, and it’s around here that you can get more sweeping views of Jaipur from above!
The other option is to loop all the way around to the main entrance of the Monkey Temple. Either way, the Galta Gate will be the best spot to find an uber or rickshaw since it’s city-side. Go here if you aren’t able to get phone/data signal inside the Monkey Temple grounds!
HAPPY ONE DAY IN JAIPUR!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train!
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Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!
Retreats in IndiaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, see:
- Yoga retreats in India
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff: